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Leveraction revolvers

P.W. Porter

One of the earliest was the P.W. Porter Turret Revolver.  Made in very limited numbers during the early 1850's, this .41 caliber 9-shot revolver featured a revolving turret that was actuated by working the finger lever.  This also cocked the hammer.  Priming was automatic and used the pill lock system  Barrel length was 5 1/4".  This is one of the most unusual revolvers ever made.  The problem with it was the same one that plagued Porter's Turret Rifle ... the loaded turret pointed directly at the shooters face!  Not a good thing if there happened to be a chain-fire.


Savage-North Figure 8 Model

Produced in 4 configurations this 36 caliber revolver featured a figure-8 finger lever that rotated the cylinder and cocked the hammer. The finger lever also housed the trigger. Probably less than 1000 total were made.

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Savage Revolving Firearms Co.
Navy Model

After Savage reorganized in 1859 under this name they began working on an improvement of the Figure 8 Revolver.  The Navy Model featured a more refined finger lever and other improvements.  The guns were made in 36 caliber and retained some features from the Figure 8 Revolver including the chamfered chambers that fitted over the end of the barrel to produce a tighter seal.

Around 20,000 of these revolvers were made from 1861 until sometime in the mid -1860's, most for government contracts.

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The single-action revolver quickly replaced the lever-action revolvers, being much simpler and easier to manipulate in a crisis situation.  The single-action revolvers were less complicated in construction and number of parts also. The ruggedness and reliability of the single-action is legendary. 

While the lever-action revolvers are interesting and a vital part of the history of leverguns, they simply could not compete with the improved firearms coming on the scene.  This is in stark contrast to the rifles which even in today's high-tech world hold their own among shooters and hunters.






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